Those Who Have Thrice Defied

by Allison

“Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies…”

After reading Half-Blood Prince, I felt empty – like a pitcher of cool lemonade spilled and left to famish. I cried, pondered R.A.B, cried some more, yelled out in rage that I’d never read another Harry Potter book again or write any type of essay on it (yeah, look how long that vow held out for) and realized: I was missing significant information on the Longbottoms and the Potters.

We do not know any of the circumstances surrounding their defiances of Voldemort. What we do know is this:

  • They defied Voldemort three times. We do not know if they were with each other, meaning that Voldemort was defied 3 times, or if they were separate, meaning he was defied 6 times, or a combination of both.
  • These defiances occurred before the “cold, wet night” in 1979.

Although Harry can no longer ask Dumbledore (though there is a possibility he can ask his portrait), there are quite a few people living that he might ask, if he ever should become curious on this subject. We should hope that while learning about his past by visiting Godric’s Hollow, he will become curious about this. I think that the methods that either his parents and/or the Longbottoms used are relevant, as he might use them to destroy Voldemort – just as Neville might use them to kill Bellatrix.

So far I have said nothing constructive, nothing that left to her or his own resources, the creative Harry Potter fan could theorize upon. Now, I will. I personally think that the Longbottoms were with the Potters when they defied, and not beating, but possessing a great challenge to Voldemort, was something in which each couple shared an equal part in. Let’s examine the Potters and the Longbottoms relationship.

In our most intriguing look at James Potter and Lily Evans while they are at school (“Snape’s Worst Memory,” OotP), Frank Longbottom and his bride-to-be Alice are not there. Perhaps they were in different years. However, once they are out of school, they were joined by a common bond – the fight against Voldemort. They both joined the Order of the Phoenix. Members of the Order don’t have to be close with each other. For instance, Mad-Eye only met Aberforth the time the picture was taken (I have some theories about when the picture was taken, but that’s for another editorial.) However, if the Order in the First War was anything like the Order in the Second War, we could say the most active members, those who fought the most, were quite close.

The Potters and the Longbottoms seemed to be equal in their fights. I would assume that Lily and Alice were friendly because they both had something in common – the birth of a child. I will not go as far to say their first child because we do not know if Alice or Lily had a miscarriage or stillbirth, or maybe their baby was murdered while in the hands of someone else (could that be why Lily was very protective of Harry?). However, we do know that they were both pregnant at the time with their first child that would make it to his sixteenth birthday at least. That could’ve been a common bond among the women, and the men had their first fathering experience to discuss.

What intrigues me most is while Alice and Frank defied Voldemort 3 times, they were Crucio’d into insanity by his followers. It’s like surviving a shark attack but dying of a bee sting (if I’ve offended anyone who knows someone who survived a shark attack but died of a bee sting, I’m sorry). The only reasonable explanations are:

  • Alice and Frank were caught seriously off their guard (possibly distracted by Neville?)
  • One of them had sustained a serious injury beforehand. Or, they might have been trying to protect Neville, but that’s doubtful because then Barty, Bellatrix & Co. would Crucio him too, unless someone (Great-Uncle Algie, anyone?) turned up
  • The Longbottoms and the Potters had been together when facing Voldemort, and while each had done exactly half the work, in this instance, being outnumbered 4 to 2 while also being shocked that attacks came after Voldemort’s fall and having no experience of fighting without Lily and James was enough to pull them ‘off their guard’

The last one is based on pure speculation. I hope that we should know the exact circumstances surrounding both attacks because I feel it will be relevant in beating Voldemort and Bellatrix. I hope Harry will get the nerve to ask those who know (Lupin, McGonagall, etc.) and use it to triumph, because to win in the future, we must look at how those who came before won in the past.